Industry representatives have been talking about the possibility that the Type 26 design will need to be altered significantly to meet Canadian requirements. There have been suggestions that the length of the ship will have to be increased by 10 metres to better accommodate a Canadian crew size. Questions about such a possibility were even raised by MPs at a Commons defence committee meeting last month.
But the Department of National Defence says there’s nothing to such claims. DND spokeswoman Ashley Lemire points out that Lockheed Martin’s proposal, based on the BAE Type 26, meets the requirements outlined in the Canadian government’s request for proposal. “Therefore, there is no need to lengthen the proposed design to meet Canada’s requirements,” she said.
DND procurement chief Pat Finn also faced similar questions from Conservative MPs during the Commons defence committee meeting last month. The Conservatives raised concerns about about whether the Type 26 had the speed or size to meet Canadian requirements. MPs also asked questions about whether the cost of the Canadian Surface Combatant program was increasing from $60 billion-$65 billion to $77 billion. Finn said there are no issues on speed or size for the Type 26. “The requirement for the Canadian Surface Combatant set standards for speed, berths, etc., so there’s no cost increase to the bid because of speed or berth,” Finn explained to MPs. “There’s been no documentation prepared and nothing has come across my desk that says there’s a cost increase to $77 billion.”